Prime Minister David Cameron's response to last year's riots was "nonsense" and "an injustice", the writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg has said.
Speaking to Radio Times, Bragg said the riots themselves were nothing new, but Cameron's reaction was. "All this business of a 'sick', 'feral' and 'broken' society is nonsense," Bragg commented. "There's very little that's broken about this society - it's tolerant even when it's a very tough time, and the people are decent people.
"They are not sick, they are grinning and bearing the tough times and helping each other - and it's an injustice for the Prime Minister or anyone else to talk about 'feral youth' and a broken, sick society.
"He ought to know about soundbites and that they go around the world and do this country a disservice. And more important, he's wrong!"
The 72-year-old Bragg said he keeps thinking he's mellowed until something happens to make him angry: "It's just a sort of flash. Anger is a very fast way to cut through to what you really want to do."
Born of working-class parents but now Baron Bragg of Wigton, the broadcaster presents Melvyn Bragg on Class and Culture, a three-part BBC2 documentary examining whether Britain is now a classless society that starts at 9pm on Friday 24 February (9.30pm in Wales).
Read more about Lord Bragg's opinion on his own class - and his thoughts on man hugs! - in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale now.